The Executive Support Series™
An All-Encompassing Approach to Working in Tandem with Your Executive
Finding the Path to Excellence
The role of an administrative assistant is, perhaps, one of the most crucial roles in an organization. Why is it, then, that assistants often feel unsupported, ill-equipped, and overlooked? Administrative assistants and support staff face a constant, uphill battle to consistently perform well, match stride with their executives, and keep pace with an ever-evolving workplace. Many in the administrative profession have chosen this career intentionally and want to maximize their role and be an integral team member in their business. They endeavor to best support their leader and executive, but still feel like they’re:
The Solution: The Executive Support Series™
The “why” is actually hidden in plain sight. More often than not, administrative assistants are not provided with the tools, training, and education they need to grow and develop in their role. They are left to figure it out on their own. When they do get resources, they’re often “recycled” versions of manager’s training that fail to consider the specific challenges and obstacles executive assistants face.
Office Dynamics’ Executive Support Series provides the answer. This groundbreaking Series is the proven solution that delivers results. It’s the one-stop-shop resource you’ve been looking for. Our Executive Support Series looks at the whole assistant and delivers the key insights and training you need to advance in your career. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just joined the profession or are a seasoned vet: This Series is designed to be impactful no matter how many years you have under your belt.
This solution allows you to learn at your own pace, access a plethora of resources from anywhere, and experience the kind of transformational education for which Office Dynamics is known.
The Key Takeaways
Our comprehensive Series will teach you the skills and nuances that will transform you into the successful partner that executives yearn to have! The information included in this Series will give you, in easy to understand and implement form, the answers to many of the problems and challenges you face on a daily basis. In addition, it encourages you to think outside of the box and use creative approaches. You’ll walk away from this Series with an understanding of how to:
LEARN ALL THIS AND MORE!
What You Will Learn
These in-depth modules are included in the Executive Support Series:
Executive Support Series Introduction
Module 1: Creating a Strategic Partnership
Each topic within this powerful module is designed to help you gain a better understanding of strategic partnerships and learn how to develop one with your leader. This skill is often elusive to both administrative assistants and executives alike. Those who have mastered the development of strategic partnerships appreciate the hard work, compassion, understanding, and time it takes to achieve them. Each of the topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this transformative module and are designed to help you walk away with a solid game plan and the know-how to implement it.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Creating a Strategic Partnership Module:
Sessions & Topics
- The power of a strategic partnership
- Becoming a key business partner as an assistant
- Learning to transform your relationship with your leader
3 Stages of Growth
- Defining the key differences between a partnership and a strategic partnership
- Assessing where you are on the pyramid
- Embracing partnership and becoming more intentional
Delving into the Strategic Partnership
- Recognizing your why
- Forecasting potential roadblocks
- Inserting yourself into your executive’s world
The Anatomy of Strategic Partnership
- Remembering that you’re a cognitive being
- Maximizing skills to reach higher levels of success
- Understanding and harnessing the power of emotional intelligence
See the Big Picture
- How to achieve and interpret the 50,000-foot view
- Connecting the dots
- Seeking sources that will help you expand your view
Module 2: Clarifying and Meeting Expectations
Each topic within this timely module is designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of the power of meeting expectations and using them to help you evolve and grow. While it’s critical to be self-aware of your strengths and weaknesses, it’s also equally important to step outside of yourself and look at things from a different viewpoint. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this thoughtful module and are designed to help you understand and appreciate differing perspectives.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Clarifying and Meeting Expectations Module:
Sessions & Topics
- Common questions, misconceptions, and needs for assistants
- Why some executives and assistants struggle
- Learning to overcome obstacles and meet higher quality standards
Three Dimensional View
- How to identify what skills you need to develop
- Using an outside perspective to become a better assistant
- How ongoing conversations encourage alignment
Play to Your Audience
- Understanding expectations and learning how to meet them
- How to find out what your audience wants
- Why continuing to clarify objectives is necessary
A More Formal Approach
- The various types of necessary administrative competencies to shine in the profession
- Seeing the big picture and understanding 360-degree feedback
- Finding the right competency assessment to create dialogue with your executive
Embracing Additional Responsibilities
- How “leaning in” can pay off
- Taking on impactful new responsibilities, not busy work
- Never stop thinking broad
Module 3: Understanding an Executive’s World
This module is designed to help you step outside your own experience in order to understand what your executive is up against. Their world is simply different. They face unique challenges, fight big battles, and have to do it all with a heavy weight on their shoulders. Stepping into their shoes can and should be enlightening and profound. Once you gain that understanding, you become more capable and powerful.
In “Understanding an Executive’s World,” Joan will cover:
- How to create new value through alignment
- When and how to push the limits
- How to look for and understand hidden signals
Module 4: Interpersonal Skills Necessary for Success
Each topic within this crucial module is designed to help you identify, understand, and master critical skills that will help shape you throughout your entire career. It’s about developing deeper connections with people, learning how to empathize and read between the lines, and utilizing the innate skills you have to become a more impactful assistant. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this introspective module and are designed to help you understand how essential interpersonal skills really are to your success.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Interpersonal Skills Necessary for Success Module:
Sessions & Topics
The Importance of Soft Skills
- What soft skills include
- How to improve your everyday interactions
- The negative effects of poor interpersonal skills
The Top 11 Interpersonal Skills
- The importance of developing a holistic approach to your skillset
- How to self-assess and determine what skills you need
- How to include your leader in your growth and development
Module 5: Learning in Tandem with Your Executive
This eye-opening module is designed to help you understand why your professional development path needs to follow the trajectory of an executive’s educational path. We’ll dive into the importance of training and education, and how selecting the right fit option for you is as important as anything else. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this transformative module and are designed to help you understand the power of professional development done well.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Learning in Tandem with Your Executive Module:
Sessions & Topics
Learning in Tandem
- How learning in tandem leads to growth and success
- Understanding what your path and trajectory should look like
- How to start the critical conversation with your executive about education
Growing in Your Professional Development
- The power of true behavioral change
- How to build an effective learning strategy
- Looking to the future to identify skills you might need going forward
Module 6: Teach Your Executive How to Partner
This module is designed to help you create meaningful engagement with your executive. You know that their focus may be occupied elsewhere, and that makes it even more important to take the initiative to start working with them. Beginning that critical conversation and putting in the work will be a profound experience for both of you. It’s going to pay off for years to come.
In “Teach Your Executive How to Partner,” Joan will cover:
- Being clear about what you need
- 15 Steps to teaching your executive how to effectively partner with you
- Overcoming the hidden barriers to why executives don’t partner
Module 7: Communications
Each topic within this necessary module is designed to help you gain a better understanding of the essentials of stellar communication. Communication helps us connect the dots. It helps us develop skills that serve to expand our perspectives, garner more respect, and relate to more people. There isn’t a single area of life that isn’t directly impacted by communication. It’s the lifeblood of our connections and interactions. It’s incredibly complex and a constant challenge to get right.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Communications Module:
Sessions & Topics
9 Reasons for Poor Communications
- Common problems that prevent solid communication
- The struggle with personalities and perspectives
- Understanding the issues and moving onto the solutions
- How communication impacts relationships
- Understanding the characteristics of communication style preference
- Accurately assessing your communication style
Be an Active Listener
- The effort active listening requires
- The ramifications of not listening to your executive
- Good listening practices
Giving Upward Feedback
- Setting aside time for critical conversations
- Properly preparing for your executive’s reaction
- Crafting your words and establishing an order to convey what you want to say
Keep Business and Information Flowing
- The power of a daily huddle
- Making the most of the time you and your executive have together
- Continuing communication while working remotely
- How to communicate big ideas
- Selecting keywords or phrases to mirror
- How to speak with clarity
Module 8: Working Together in a Virtual World
This module is designed to help you navigate a changing world. Remote work is a trend that’s here to stay. The change it represents can have pros and cons. Figuring out how to maximize the pros and mitigate the cons is imperative.
In Working Together in a Virtual World, Joan will cover:
- Embracing new tools and learning to take the lead
- Using creativity to grow
- Supporting your executive through changes
Module 9: Managing Your Executive's Travel
Each topic within this essential module is designed to help you become a better travel planner who is capable of planning the types of business trips executives want to take. You’ll gain an understanding of the reality of business travel for an executive and then use that knowledge to develop savvy travel plans that mitigate stress, cover every detail, and focus on what really matters. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this “can’t miss” module.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Managing Your Executive’s Travel Module:
Sessions & Topics
Emotional Intelligence Meets
- Understanding your primary goal as a travel planning assistant
- How to put yourself in the shoes of your executive
- Considering what add-ons may make your leader’s trip better
The Logistics of Travel Planning
- When you should ask for guidance and advice
- Key organization skills for stellar business trips
- Knowing when research is needed
Module 10: Mastering Calendar Management
Each topic within this essential module is designed to help you understand the nuances and complexities of calendar management. This is a deceptively tricky task that, if done wrong, can have dire consequences. On the other hand, getting calendar management right can help to decrease frustration and stress, strengthen relationships, and set you and your executive apart from the pack. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this necessary module.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Mastering Calendar Management Module:
Sessions & Topics
A Cognitive Skill
- Understanding who your executive is
- How to consider all the critical elements
- Assessing what should and should not go on your executive’s calendar
Use a Holistic Approach
- Focusing on the needs of your executive
- Becoming a gatekeeper
- Looking ahead while planning for today
Know Your Executive’s Preferences
- Best practices for scheduling
- When and where to leave time open on your executive’s calendar
- Giving your leader the breaks they need to thrive
Have a Game Plan
- Considering the who, what, when, and where elements
- Making sure you’re reviewing your executive’s calendar
- Developing a Plan B
Did You Cover Everything?
- Knowing what could go wrong and how to prepare for it
- Asking the right questions before scheduling a meeting
- Putting priority where it belongs
Module 11: Help Your Executive Maintain a Competitive Edge
Each topic within this key module is designed to help you understand how to set your executive on a path to continued success. The relationship between a leader and their assistant becomes incredibly powerful when the assistant takes the initiative to understand the business they’re in, the company they work for, the key players, and the industry as a whole. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this contemplative module.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Help Your Executive Maintain a Competitive Edge Module:
Sessions & Topics
Know Your Industry
- Keeping your executive in the know
- Learning the competition
- Staying alert and following the right industry influencers
Be a Professional Agent of Your Company
- Behavior to avoid in the workplace
- Using emotional intelligence
- Being a fan of your company
- Utilizing your skills of judgement
- Developing a thought process rather than relying on an app
Get to Know Who’s Who
- Learning who is important to your executive
- How to treat valuable clients and visitors
- Paying attention to industry events
Master of Time
- Taking control
- Drawing a line between busy work and impactful work
- Keeping an eye out for time robbers
Raise the Bar for Yourself
- Identifying your deficits and understanding how to grow
- How paying attention to others can help you transform
- Seeking out the right fit for education, growth, and development
Anticipate the Future
- Using a future-focused mindset to mitigate stress and frustration
- Knowing what to look for to stay on the cutting edge
- Avoiding potential issues and conflicts
Module 12: Know Your Executive
Each topic within this revealing module will help you strengthen your relationship with your leader, understand them more deeply, and provide better support to them. There’s more to knowing someone than just making assumptions or asking generic questions. You have to utilize the right approach to get the right results. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this contemplative module.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Know Your Executive Module:
Sessions & Topics
Get Inside Your Executive’s Head
- Learning to think like your leader
- Using curiosity to gain clarity
- Minimizing frustration through empathy and understanding
Work Style and Personality
- What to pay attention to
- How to build better rapport
- Key tips for studying your executive
Leader vs. Manager Orientation
- Being a more effective balance to your leader
- Developing better anticipation skills
- Relating to your executive on a deeper level
Module 13: Protecting Your Executive’s Image
This module is designed to help you gain a deeper understanding of your role as an assistant. One of your responsibilities within that role is to act as a safeguard for your leader. There are many reasons that your executive might need you to shield personal or professional information about them. When you learn how to do that well, you provide them with a critical layer of protection that allows them to focus on what really matters.
In Protecting Your Executive’s Image, Joan will cover:
- How to provide information to your leader’s clients and colleagues
- Taking tasks off your executive’s plate
- The leader’s human element
Module 14: Taking Care of You
This module is unique and is designed to help you focus on the engine that keeps everything around you moving. You work hard, and that means that your days take a lot out of you. In fact, they may take more out of you than you’re recognizing. Learning how to pay attention to your needs will help you become a happier and healthier person – inside and out. That equates to a better professional and personal life.
In Taking Care of You, Joan will cover:
- Managing and dealing with guilt
- Setting expectations and knowing when to just say, “No”
- Finding a “venting” partner to get things off your chest before they fester
Module 15: Resolving Partnership Problems
Each topic within this intense module is designed to help you better navigate partnership problems with your leader. These issues shouldn’t allow the relationship between you and your leader to stagnate or become toxic. There’s a better way. The topics below have been carefully selected as key elements for this helpful module and are designed to help you walk away with a keen understanding of how to reach optimal resolutions.
Each of these intense topics is included in the Resolving Partnership Problems Module:
Sessions & Topics
6 Steps to Resolving Partnership Problems
- The biggest struggles assistants face in partnering with their executive
- Setting clear partnership goals
- Paving a path towards growth and improvement
Working with a Difficult Executive
- The different kinds of difficult leaders
- Identifying types of behavior
- Approaching a difficult leader in an effective manner
Module 16: Orchestrating and Supporting Multiple Managers
This module is incredibly impactful for assistants who are currently and who may in the future manage multiple executives. It is designed to help you effectively take on this role and understand how to best deal with the pressure and complexities it presents. Taking a step back and looking at this role from a wider angle provides some easy to implement best practices and effective strategies.
In Orchestrating and Supporting Multiple Managers, Joan will cover:
- Establishing and implementing effective uniform procedures
- Understanding different work styles
- Being crystal clear on expectations and learning how to meet those consistently
In addition to the 48 learning videos by Joan Burge, you will receive a range of resources to support your development including:
- Downloadable checklists, tip sheets, and charts
- Downloadable eBooks
- Communication Style Assessment
- Administrative Competency Assessment
- Visuals to Emphasize Key Learnings
- Leader vs. Manager Continuum
- Downloadable Executive & Assistants Working in Partnership Guide
CESP (Certified Executive Support Professional)
Executive Support Series™ Certification and Designation
What is the Certified Executive Support Professional designation from Office Dynamics?
CESP is a “specialized” designation for administrative professionals that communicates you are a highly trained, highly-skilled, professional who supports executives, key leaders, directors, and the management team.
There are other professional designations for administrative professionals that can be achieved through professional associations. Even at Office Dynamics, we offer two other high-level certifications with designations called the CEAP (Certified Executive Administrative Professional) and CWCA (Certified World Class Assistant).
The significant difference in obtaining the CESP is that the teachings fully and exclusively focus on the competencies, skills, attitudes, and behaviors needed to support someone in leadership whereas other certifications cover a gamut of topics such as business acumen, business law, accounting, administration, technology, records management, and general communications.
When you achieve Office Dynamics’ CESP designation, it will say to a potential employer or current executive that you are fully committed to being the best possible strategic partner. It says that you understand, first and foremost, your purpose is to alleviate your executive of any tasks that are barriers to their success or fulfilling the mission of their work and business; that you “run the ball down the field” next to your executive.
Office Dynamics is the first in the administrative training industry to offer this highly coveted certification and designation.
The CESP designation was created by Joan Burge, Founder and CEO of Office Dynamics International. Joan has a deep understanding of the administrative profession from 20 years’ experience and 30+ years as a CEO and executive. She brought these two perspectives together in 2020 during the pandemic by recording 48 educational videos specific to the topic of supporting an executive and creating strategic partnerships.
Why is it important for an administrative assistant or executive assistant to get this specific designation?
- Create opportunities for yourself in terms of more challenging and interesting work, thus moving away from being an order taker and task doer.
- You will stand out from the crowd. Whereas other assistants might have the broader designations from IAAP (CAP) or from APC (PACE), this designation will alert others that you invested time absorbed in what it takes to be the best of the best.
- Could lead to promotion and salary increase. C-Suite executives and top-level leadership must have the best administrative partner at their side. They must have someone who grows in tandem in their profession just as much as the executive grows in their role. This designation will give you the edge when competing for a high-level position.
- The CESP designation tells others that you see yourself as a Career Executive-Level Assistant whose mission is to strategically support a leader. And that you understand there are 101 nuances to fulfilling this mission.
- Earning a certificate or designation validates the person’s high-level of expertise and often leads to added prestige … not to mention the fact that a professional certification may also yield a pay bump and generally puts holders ahead of the pack.
- Demonstrates commitment to your profession. Receiving a certification and designation shows your peers, leaders, and the general public how committed you are to your chosen career, along with how well you perform to set standards. It sets you apart as a leader in your field.
- Certification builds self-esteem. Certifications create a standard for a particular profession, complete with performance standards, ethics, and career paths. You will see yourself as a certified professional who controls his or her own professional destiny.
- Because you want to learn real-world strategies and tips from Joan Burge, 50-year veteran in the administrative profession, pioneer of the administrative training industry since 1990, and visionary for the future of the role. Joan Burge is the most sought-after expert in the training industry by Fortune 500 companies like Procter & Gamble, Walt Disney World, Nationwide Insurance, Cisco Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, and Humana.
- Joan will tell you like it is! She cares about you, your well-being, and career success.
How to obtain the Certified Executive Support Professional (CESP) designation:
- Register for Office Dynamics’ Executive Support Series™ course.
- Watch all 48 videos within 3 months. (Note: Some videos are shorter than other video segments.)
- As you watch the videos, be sure to absorb what Joan says; take notes; make sure you understand the concepts and strategies.
- Take the test when you feel confident in what you learned. You must get at least 85% of the questions right to receive the CESP designation. You will have three chances to pass the test.
- When you pass the test, you will receive your certificate displaying your designation.
- Proudly display the CESP initials after your name in signature lines, on your LinkedIn profile, on resumes, and anywhere else that is business related.
If you have any questions, please call 800-STAR-139.
Meet the Series Creator and Your Personal Coach
This powerful Executive Support Series™ was conceived and developed by administrative training industry pioneer Joan Burge. Joan is an accomplished author, speaker, consultant, and corporate trainer. In 1990, Joan founded Office Dynamics International, laying a solid foundation in a previously untapped niche. She has dedicated herself to inspiring excellence and encouraging administrative professionals to reach for the stars! She made Office Dynamics International a global industry leader by offering a broad range of solutions and providing high-performance, sophisticated executive and administrative assistant training and coaching.
Over the decades, Joan has worked tirelessly as an advocate and leader for the administrative professional community. She gets what you do, day in and day out. Why? Because she’s been there. She spent decades as an administrative assistant working for top-tier companies and accomplished executives. Joan Burge is the foremost expert in the demanding field of management support. She put in the hard work and high investment required to earn the reputational excellence and uncompromising trust of leaders in business.
Over the past thirty years, administrative assistants, executives, HR business partners, support staff, and managers have come to rely on Office Dynamics International as the preeminent source for training and education. Office Dynamics International created the industry and has remained at the forefront for more than three decades.
Joan illuminates through her empowering teaching, candid insights, and practical knowledge that has helped countless teams build better work relationships between executives and their assistants. This Executive Support Series represents the culmination of years of industry insider perspective, in-depth understanding, and actionable tools to help assistants accomplish their goals.
Gain access to this must-have
course for executive assistants and start strengthening your partnership today!
48 Training Sessions | 10 Hours
CESP Designation Option
50+ Years of Knowledge
GROUP PRICING IS AVAILABLE
CALL 800-STAR-138 FOR DETAILS AND PRICING
Fast Track The Training & Development Submission Process
Download Our “You’re Approved” Bundle
We understand that getting approval for training and development isn’t always an easy process.
We are confident that the Executive Support Series™ will provide you and your executive with a solid partnership, add value to your role and spearhead the impact you have on your department and organization.
Our “You’re Approved” bundle features three resources to help you relay just that.
The Executive Support Series™ Brochure
A breakdown of the Executive Support Series™ plethora of content designed to provide real, actionable change in your career.
The Micro Executive Support Effectiveness Assessment
Letter to Your Executive - Why You Should Invest in the Executive Support Series™
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The administrative and executive assistant role has changed tremendously over the years. However, there is one thing that has not changed in my 50 years’ experience in the profession—that is that the #1 purpose of an assistant is to support the management team and their executive(s) in whatever fashion is necessary to accomplish the goals of the department and organization.
The challenge is many executives are performing tasks that do not impact the bottom line or relying on apps. A highly-trained, highly-skilled assistant will use their cognitive abilities, free you from the minutia, and increase your productivity by 30% or more!
As a result of what your assistant will learn in the Executive Support Series™ course, he or she will:
Prevent or reduce your decision fatigue.
Help you run the ball down the field, every day.
Take over the nitty-gritty work.
Embrace new challenges and opportunities.
Help you maintain a competitive edge.
Forecast barriers and potential problems.
Diminish last-minute chaos.
Creatively problem solve.
Become a more effective communicator.
The Executive Support Series™ is a small investment compared to what you will receive in more time to focus on what you should be doing, reduced stress and tension, and increased capacity.
P.S. I would be happy to speak with you about this course or other educational opportunities for your assistant. You can reach me at 800-STAR-139.
There are no refunds or transfers for the Executive Support Series™
Joan wants to make sure you finish what you started and stay true to your commitment. Joan knows first hand that if access to video webinars or training is belabored, people tend to get distracted with work and life. It is because of this, we have limited viewing access to 3 months. There are 48 videos that total around 10 hours.
If you don’t finish within the 3 months, you may pay $50 for a 30-day, one-time extension.
Joan Burge, Executive Support Series™ Creator, highly recommends you watch the videos in order. She purposely set the order of topics to flow, connect, and build upon each other.
After you have paid and completed your registration, you will receive a welcome email that will contain your login credentials to access the course. You will follow the instructions provided in the email.
*PLEASE NOTE: If you do not receive an email, your company may be blocking it or it may be in your spam folder. Please ask your IT person for assistance in retrieving the email and whitelisting our emails.
Should your organization wish to purchase the Executive Support Series™ for their entire administrative community or a group, we have Enterprise Pricing.
Please call 800-STAR-139 for group pricing and details.
One registration gives you single access for one person.
Each attendee will need to register and pay separately.
Anyone caught sharing the course or information will be removed with no refunds. And you will not be able to obtain your designation. No exceptions.
You do not have to take the test unless you want to receive your CESP (Certified Executive Support Professional) Designation.
There is no time limit, however, we do recommend you take as soon as possible while the information is fresh.
You will have three chances to pass the test. We highly recommend you take extensive notes and study hard before attempting the test. We also recommend that you take it before your three-month access ends in case you need to refer to any videos. You must receive an 85% or higher to pass and receive your designation. If you do not pass after three attempts or need an extension, please call us at 800-STAR-139 and you may purchase a 30-day, one-time extension.
Once you gain access to the course, you will find testing information on the main page as well as on the page of the last video in this training series. We will also be send a 60 and 90-day follow up email which will contain the information and link.
Upon passing the test with a score of 85% or higher, your certificate will be processed and emailed to you within 72 hours. There may be times where it may take longer.
No, you do not have to get certified in the Executive Support Series course. We highly recommend you strive for the certification and designation, though, since you are investing a great deal of time and money in this course. Plus employers are looking for assistants who have gone the extra mile with their education and have obtained some type of certification. A professional designation may give you the edge.
No. Unlike certifications offered by administrative associations, you do not have to recertify. The Office Dynamics certification is called a “curriculum-based designation.”
P.S. Truly Transformational Education
Without knowledge, we cannot grow. Without ongoing education, our minds languish, and we become more like robots and less like powerful, innovative, creative pioneers. The challenge is always, both personally and professionally, to continue onward – towards growth, change, and wholeness.
I started Office Dynamics because I value the power of education. I knew our industry needed more. For the last thirty years, I’ve been a relentless advocate for administrative assistants. How do I do that? I push the boundaries and always encourage myself and others to reach for the stars.
This Series was born from a need for quicker, easier access to knowledge without compromising one iota of integrity and quality.
I’ll leave you with this final bit of advice. Invest in yourself. I’ve never met a single assistant who regretted seeing themselves as worthy of investment. Quite the opposite, in fact. They often wondered why they waited so long to begin.